The topline numbers
The fav/unfav for Akin is 24% favorable and 58% unfavorable. Compared to 41% job approval for McCaskill and 53% disapproval.
Does a poll of 500 people taken over 3 hours of a Monday Night mean much more than a Leroy Neiman painting?
We’ll see. For one thing, Public Policy didn’t poll an Akin/McCaskill matchup for the last 3 months before tonight. So we don’t know if the universe was like SurveyUSA’s universe (Akin +10) or Rasmussen’s (Akin +3).
So let’s look at the bits and pieces
Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Claire McCaskill’s job performance?
Not sure 5%
Q2 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Todd Akin?
Not sure 18%
Q3 The candidates for Senate this fall are Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Todd Akin. If the election was today, who would you vote for?
Claire McCaskill 43%
Todd Akin 44%
Q4 Do you think Todd Akin’s recent comments over the weekend about rape were appropriate or inappropriate, or are you not familiar with what Akin said about rape?
Not familiar with Akin’s comments 16%
Q5 This past weekend, Todd Akin said that abortion should be illegal even in the case of rape, because, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with Akin’s comments?
Strongly agree 6%
Somewhat agree 12%
Somewhat disagree 14%
Strongly disagree 65%
Not sure 4%
Q6 Generally speaking, do you identify as prochoice or pro-life on the issue of abortion?
Not sure 7%
Q7 Which of the following statements comes closest to your position on abortion: it should be legal in all cases; it should generally be illegal with exception for rape, incest, or protection of the mother’s life; or should it be completely illegal?
Legal in all cases 33%
Illegal except for rape, incest, or the mother’s life 47%
Completely illegal 14%
Not sure 5%
Q8 Who did you vote for President in 2008?
John McCain 49%
Barack Obama 44%
Someone else/Don’t remember 7%
Q9 Would you describe yourself as very liberal, somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat conservative, or very conservative?
Very liberal 9%
Somewhat liberal 16%
Somewhat conservative 29%
Very conservative 19%
Q10 If you are a woman, press 1. If a man, press 2.
Q11 If you are a Democrat, press 1. If a Republican, press 2. If you are an independent or identify with another party, press 3.
Q12 If you are white, press 1. If other, press 2.
Q13 If you are 18 to 29 years old, press 1. If 30 to 45, press 2. If 46 to 65, press 3. If you are older than 65, press 4.
18 to 29- 12%
30 to 45- 22%
46 to 65- 46%
Older than 65- 20%
So the splits!
To be frank… the partisan split on Q11 is based on some sort of alternate universe. The sample in May was 35D/33R/33I. The 2010 exit polls were 34D/37R/28I. The reason why one night polls are not typically done is because they do not produce results that can be passed off as reality in regards to certain characteristics of humanity.
Or you can believe that the demographics of MO drastically changed in 3 months.
But take the partisan splits, which are
Dems: Claire, 88-8
Reps: Akin, 71-10
Indys: Akin, 45-41
You put them with the party samples used in May, and Claire leads by 6% (47-41). You put them with the 2010 exit polls, and Claire leads by 3% (45-42). You put them with the 2008 exit polls (to be extreme) and she leads by 10%. Claire also leads by 6% (47-41) if you use SurveyUSA’s sample from a poll that Akin led by 11%.
Back in May, Claire led by 2 with women and was behind by 2 with men. The PPP says it’s +10 Claire with Women and +14 Akin with men.
And PPP has Claire up with every age-demo except 30-45 (where she trails 52-33)
I’d comment on the 18-29 results (which were the most pro-Claire but the least pro-Choice) but the sample was 60 people at home on a Monday Night.
How about we wait for a more substantive poll on the matter? But if you’re Todd Akin looking for some justification to continue your increasingly doomed campaign, you can use this flawed Republican-heavy poll to make your case to stick around.